Students with reading difficulties usually have problems in spelling as well and often times have more severe deficits in spelling than in reading, according to Hallahan et. al. in introduction to learning disabilities. In reading, context and other cues help one to decode a word, but in spelling, one must produce the word after hearing or thinking it. As a consequence of their difficulties with spelling, student find writing tasks both laborious and aversive. Spelling requires that a person produce in written or oral form the correct sequence of letters that form a particular word. To do this, a person converts phonemes (sounds) into graphemes (written letters) . There is only one correct way to spell any particular word with a given meaning. Thus, spelling does not allow any room for creative “answers or style”, a word is either spelled correctly or it is misspell. The study was conducted in Tiwi Community College located in Libtong, Tiwi, Albay offering two courses and one of them is the Bachelor of Elementary Education. During the second semester, BEED 1 students are having their English 2 (Writing in the Discipline) as one of their subjects.
Their responses to our conversation, they are experiencing difficulty in writing composition particularly when it comes to their spelling performance. Mrs. Maida Bobier one of their instructor, had given us permission to conduct our survey that will determine their performance level on spelling. We then find time to raise our concern to the selected students who are willing to know and to improve their performance and clearly explained to them our plan of conducting our action research with them as participants. We emphasized our purpose of helping them in their difficulty with the said topic and our gratefulness to receive help from them to realize our action research.
We have a sum total of 20 respondents coming from each section of the first year BEED students, and all of them actively participated in our study. They were all very honest in telling us that they face hardships when it comes to writing words with correct spelling. English spelling is particularly difficult. Over the centuries. The pronunciation of English has deviated even further away from the spelling. Many languages have reformed their spelling to adjust to such changes, but English has not. It teams with spelling and pronunciation challenges, words like buffet, cousin, canyon, cough ad mosquito. What makes spelling even more difficult is that the written form of the English language has inconsistent pattern. It would be much easier if each phoneme had one and only grapheme.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
How Spelling is Developed and Invented
In this article, how a person invented a spelling and how a person spells a word will be discussed. Templeton and Henderson are introduced here. They are also linguists who stated that spelling is a major element of acquisition. When a teacher asks to spell ” cat “, the students will automatically answer “Capital C, small A, and small T, CAT.” That’s the real thing whenever we ask a child to spell a word. What is spelling anyway? How important is it to be studied? Spelling is a major component of language acquisition, and it focuses on the written word (Temple, et al., 2005). Since spellers learn through invented spelling, teens go through different stages as experimenting with words. Moreover, to understand better how spelling is developed, we should be aware of its past.
The spelling is a repository of the history of the English language (Henderson, 1990). The teacher stretches the sound of each letter for the children to identify the spelling. For students who are English language learners, this practice is important as a help with their writing. There are suggested family strategies to help students build the competency in spelling. It is “Reading a book together”, as an encouragement to try new words and a help to build spelling proficiency. Another is, teaching to use dictionary as early as possible. The dictionary can be used as a tool to find the correct spelling of a word. Other strategies are through word and picture sorts, songs and finger plays, and scrabble games.
The Impact of Texting on Students’ Writing Skills
If you happen to know any pre-teens or teenagers, or have been to your local mall on a recent Friday night, you are probably familiar with this scene: Gaggles of tweens and teens walking, sitting, standing, together in near silence as they type away at their respective cell phone. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of these text messages, then you’ve had the pleasure of decoding the extensive digital shorthand that permeates the vocabulary of many middle school and high school students. It is reasonable to question the impact of this type of communication on students’ writing skills, and many have. A search for “texting and language arts” yields numerous articles and blog posts by educators and educational reporters describing the negative effects of text messaging on students’ grammar and writing skills. Edutopia, an educational website, conducted an online poll asking “Does text messaging harm students’ writing skills?”
Out of 1,842 votes, 944 votes (51%) chose “Yes. I believe students are carrying over the writing habits they pick up through text messaging into school assignments.” 476 votes (26%) chose “No. I believe students can write one way to their friends and another way in class. They can keep the two methods separate.” 361 votes (20%) chose “Maybe. Although text messaging may have some impact on how students write, I don’t think it’s a significant problem.” (http://www.edutopia.org/node/5369/results) Text messaging forsakes spelling, sentence structure, capitalization, and punctuation in favor of speed, making it wholly inappropriate for school assignments and any other formal writing. Part of learning to express thoughts in writing is learning how to adjust the tone and voice of your writing to best suit the audience and subject matter.
12 of 27 Text Speaks and Its Effect on Adolescents’ Spelling Proficiency How Text Speaks Affect Language Development
Among the Asian countries, interestingly, Philippines has the largest population of cellphone users who use text messaging as a means of communication. Not less than the average of 20 text messages is being sent daily by a subscriber. Because of this, Philippines has been considered as the text capital of the world. In 2007, 42.70 million people who are users of cellphone consider text messaging as a cheap and reliable alternative means of communication. According to the Global messaging Survey conducted by Nokia, text messaging was proven to be an addictive activity. It is also confirmed by the study of University of Queensland inAustralia (Umman, 2009).Here is a long history of trying to correct and change the illogical system of English spelling. In Ammon Shea’s article entitled ” The keypad solution”, Benjamin Franklin, AndrewCarnegie and President Theodore Roosevelt tried to fix the issue of spelling change.
Now, the widespread change in how people spell English words appears to have come from a large group of young people sending text messages. We can never please everyone to stick on conventional spelling. Perhaps, the first most successful attempt at spelling reform was written by NoahWebster. Somehow, it is a reliable source of conventional spelling. 13 of 27 Text Speaks and Its Effect on Adolescents’ Spelling Proficiency “It does affect, sometimes, how I do my schoolwork…” an interview with MargareteStether from Hartland. She said this as she stopped in a mall, where cellular phones as commonas low-cut jeans. “I do put, instead of a Y-O-U, I put a U” ( Linguists Mixed on Effects of Text Messaging,
2003). That way alarms some linguists who worry that the proliferation “text-speak”—cellphone users type and send short messages—will enforce undisciplined habits.Ms. Mildred Rojo-Laurilla of de La Salle University had a research entitled “ Predicting Text Messaging Style in the Philippines—A sociolinguistic Analysis ”. The results have revealedthat the texter’s age, sex and work are predictors of texting styles. In terms of the discourse features, certain politeness markers, role, topics, speech acts and co texter texting styles are also predictors of texting style, same to perception and texting profile as weak predictors. Text Messages are Killing Grammar: Linguists, 2004
In line with this, people using e-mail and SMS were unconcerned about grammar and punctuation (Carr, J. 2004). “Grammar and Punctuations, through SMS ande-mail, have been increasingly underused around the world.” said Sue Butler, editorial 14 of 27 Text Speaks and Its Effect on Adolescents’ Spelling Proficiency committee member of Macquarie Dictionary. She also added that they are now getting a failing in standards of punctuation that can be disconcerting. Mediums such as television advertisements and public billboards often sacrifice grammar and punctuation to attract audiences in the possible shortest time. “It was also being sacrificed on radios and t.v. because often, presenters have to speak faster.” She added. Even the 98% of her first year students did not know about apostrophes(Carr, J. 2004). Text messaging phenomenon impacts not just what youth say but also on how they spell; should we push back on conventional spelling, or allow a new generation to developown standards? (Enie, M. 2010)
However, on the other way around, some believe that text messaging has no harm. 15 of 27 Text Speaks and Its Effect on Adolescents’ Spelling Proficiency increasing population of cellphone users. This is a proof that language and languages change as said by Carolyn Adger, director of the Language in Society Division of the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington. Besides, text messaging is making it easier for people to communicate and innovating with language is not dangerous, she added. In the study “ Does Text Messaging Affect the Spelling Skills of the Students? ” by EdisonYanzon, a pre-test and post-test were done to grade 5 students of Xavier High school to test their spelling proficiency. It says there that the misspelling is just characterized mostly by typographical non-conformity and not by incompetence. Abbott, George 1887-1995. , Our intervention also seemed to improve the students’ spelling revision skills. Compared to baseline, both students were able to find and correct more preset spelling errors in the Aleksis 2 Virhejahti computer game after the intervention. In most cases, the students were able to correct an error if they found it.
This finding is different from that of MacArthur, Graham, Haynes, and DeLaPaz (1996). They found middle-school students able to find about 30%, but able to correct only about 9% of spelling errors in their own compositions. Johnnie J. Lim conducted this study to find answers to the problem whether or not pronunciation affects spelling and comprehension of the students in learning English as a Foreign Language. As a researcher, he tried to prove if learners of the English language from Middle East had common errors in writing correct spelling of words with letter ‘r’, be it in the middle or at the end of the word, and if their comprehension was affected by pronunciation. International Dyslexia Association:
Spelling is difficult for many people, but there is much less research on spelling than there is on reading to tell us just how many people spell poorly or believe they spell poorly. Less is known about spelling competence in the general population than is known about reading achievement because there is no national test for spelling and many states do not test students’ spelling skills. Almost all people with dyslexia, however, struggle with spelling and face serious obstacles in learning to cope with this aspect of their learning disability. The definition of dyslexia notes that individuals with dyslexia have “conspicuous problems” with spelling and writing, in spite of being capable in other areas and having a normal amount of classroom instruction.
Many individuals with dyslexia learn to read fairly well, but difficulties with spelling (and handwriting) tend to persist throughout life, requiring instruction, accommodations, task modifications, and understanding from those who teach or work with the individual. Devonshire &Fluck, 2010: “English spelling, as well as in many other languages, consists of three elements: morphology, etymology, and phonology”. As traditional spelling instruction focuses primarily on phonology and hardly touches on etymology and morphology, intervention is necessary, and the Ultimate Spelling software, which thoroughly covers those three elements, is expected to cause a dramatic improvement in spelling-challenged students. Writing, Technology and Teens
This raises a major question: What, if anything, connects the formal writing teens do and the informal e-communication they exchange on digital screens? A considerable number of educators and children’s advocates worry that James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, was right when he recently suggested that young Americans’ electronic communication might be damaging “the basic unit of human thought — the sentence.”1 They are concerned that the quality of writing by young Americans is being degraded by their electronic communication, with its carefree spelling, lax punctuation and grammar, and its acronym shortcuts. Others wonder if this return to text-driven communication is instead inspiring new appreciation for writing among teens. Teenagers’ lives are filled with writing. All teens write for school, and 93% of teens say they write for their own pleasure.
Most notably, the vast majority of teens have eagerly embraced written communication with their peers as they share messages on their social network pages, in emails and instant messages online, and through fast-paced thumb choreography on their cell phones. Parents believe that their children write more as teens than they did at that age. Even though teens are heavily embedded in a tech-rich world, they do not believe that communication over the internet or text messaging is writing. The main reason teens use the internet and cell phones is to exploit their communication features.3 4 Yet despite the nearly ubiquitous use of these tools by teens, they see an important distinction between the “writing” they do for school and outside of school for personal reasons, and the “communication” they enjoy via instant messaging, phone text messaging, email and social networking sites. 85% of teens ages 12-17 engage at least occasionally in some form of electronic personal communication, which includes text messaging, sending email or instant messages, or posting comments on social networking sites. 60% of teens do not think of these electronic texts as “writing.”
Teens generally do not believe that technology negatively influences the quality of their writing, but they do acknowledge that the informal styles of writing that mark the use of these text-based technologies for many teens do occasionally filter into their school work. Overall, nearly two-thirds of teens (64%) say they incorporate some informal styles from their text-based communications into their writing at school. 50% of teens say they sometimes use informal writing styles instead of proper capitalization and punctuation in their school assignments; 38% say they have used text shortcuts in school work such as “LOL” (which stands for “laugh out loud”); 25% have used emoticons (symbols like smiley faces in school work. The impact of technology on writing is hardly a frivolous issue because most believe that good writing is important to teens’ future success.
Both teens and their parents say that good writing is an essential skill for later success in life. 83% of parents of teens feel there is a greater need to write well today than there was 20 years ago. 86% of teens believe good writing is important to success in life — some 56% describe it as essential and another 30% describe it as important. Parents also believe that their children write more now than they did when they were teens. 48% of teenagers’ parents believe that their child is writing more than the parent did during their teen years; 31% say their child is writing less; and 20% believe it is about the same now as in the past. Recognition of the importance of good writing is particularly high in black households and among families with lower levels of education. 94% of black parents say that good writing skills are more important now than in the past, compared with 82% of white parents and 79% of English-speaking Hispanic parents. 88% of parents with a high school degree or less say that writing is more important in today’s world, compared with 80% of parents with at least some college experience.
Teens believe that the writing instruction they receive in school could be improved. Most teens feel that additional instruction and focus on writing in school would help improve their writing even further. Our survey asked teens whether their writing skills would be improved by two potential changes to their school curricula: teachers having them spend more time writing in class, and teachers using more computer-based tools (such as games, writing help programs or websites, or multimedia) to teach writing. Overall, 82% of teens feel that additional in-class writing time would improve their writing abilities and 78% feel the same way about their teachers using computer-based writing tools.
Non-school writing, while less common than school writing, is still widespread among teens Outside of a dedicated few, non-school writing is done less often than school writing, and varies a bit by gender and race/ethnicity. Boys are the least likely to write for personal enjoyment outside of school. Girls and black teens are more likely to keep a journal than other teens. Black teens are also more likely to write music or lyrics on their own time. 47% of black teens write in a journal, compared with 31% of white teens. 37% of black teens write music or lyrics, while 23% of white teens do. 49% of girls keep a journal; 20% of boys do.
26% of boys say they never write for personal enjoyment outside of school. Teens more often write by hand for both out-of-school writing and school work. Most teens mix and match longhand and computers based on tool availability, assignment requirements and personal preference. When teens write they report that they most often write by hand, though they also often write using computers as well. Out-of-school personal writing is more likely than school writing to be done by hand, but longhand is the more common mode for both purposes. 72% of teens say they usually (but not exclusively) write the material they are composing for their personal enjoyment outside of school by hand; 65% say they usually write their school assignments by hand. Parents are generally more positive than their teen children about the effect of computers and text-based communication tools on their child’s writing. Parents are somewhat more likely to believe that computers have a positive influence on their teen’s writing, while teens are more likely to believe computers have no discernible effect. 27% of parents think the internet writing their teen does makes their teen child a better writer, and 27% think it makes the teen a poorer writer. Some 40% say it makes no difference.
Teens enjoy non-school writing, and to a lesser extent, the writing they do for school. Enjoyment of personal, non-school writing does not always translate into enjoyment of school-based writing. Fully 93% of those ages 12-17 say they have done some writing outside of school in the past year and more than a third of them write consistently and regularly. Half (49%) of all teens say they enjoy the writing they do outside of school “a great deal,” compared with just 17% who enjoy the writing they do for school with a similar intensity. Teens that enjoy their school writing more are more likely to engage in creative writing at school compared with teens who report very little enjoyment of school writing (81% vs. 69%). In our focus groups, teens report being motivated to write by relevant, interesting, self-selected topics, and attention and feedback from engaged adults who challenged them. How Does Technology Impact Young Adults’ Writing Habits?
At the Pew Internet and American Life Project, we recently published a report titled Writing, Technology and Teens, which considered the impact of informal writing styles, as commonly found in the infinite number of shorthand conversations young people have each day over text messaging and IM. The primary question we wanted to answer with this research was if these informal writing styles, which make liberal use of writing shortcuts such as acronyms (e.g., LOL, ROFL, BRB, etc.); abbreviations (e.g., “cu2nite”, meaning “see you tonight”); and emoticons, such as the recently-turned-10-years-old smiley face, had any effects on teens’ more formal writing, such as what was required from them in a school environment.
As Nicole recently wrote, the results from this research reveal that while most teens do not consider these forms of interaction as “writing,” the habits developed in quick messaging conversations do bleed into their more formal, school-based writing. Since I considered the communication habits of college students for my master’s thesis work, I thought it might be interesting to look at the questions posed in our teens’ research in light of my data on a slightly older crowd.
Related Literature (local)
James Tollefson, language policy and applied linguistics expert, in his book, Planning Language, Planning Inequality (1991). In a review, Ester J. de Jong, a bilingual education expert, wrote: “Tollefson chooses the Philippines, previously an American colony, to show the relationship between language, class, and power. In the Philippines, English has a high status as the official language of the country. It is the language for education, and often a required language for higher-level jobs. Pilipino, one of the major national languages, has been proposed by the communist adversaries of the government as the official language. Neo-classical explanations describe this conflict in terms of the instrumental value of English versus the symbolic/integrative value of Pilipino. However, this avoids looking at the social class issues that are involved. Tollefson points out that the current policy, which promotes English and does not officially recognize the national languages in education, gives the English-speaking elite an advantage, while at the same time maintaining linguistic barriers to education for the poor, who speak other languages than English.
Thus, the struggle between the languages is therefore one aspect of a struggle between competing economic interests, with English and Pilipino serving the aims of fundamentally different groups. Lope K. Santos, former Director of the SurianngWikangPambansa [which is now the KomisyonsaWikang Filipino], was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party.Some of those who support the movement to develop Pilipino as our national language could have been. But that’s within their right. Personally, I think the matter of nationalism as the central issue of language policy has been overplayed. I have learned how to speak the language and its permutations some 40 years ago and for some reason, I just didn’t feel any more nationalistic even during those few years of my life spent somewhere in Laguna, a Tagalog or Pilipino heartland, where I did speak Filipino every day. Assessing the extent of poor spelling among college students by Kathleen Gilligan Many people do not realize how large a problem spelling is among college students.
I like to think of myself as an average speller, but upon seeing some of my classmates’ papers I find myself being an above average speller. What makes me better at spelling than they are? Is it my schooling and my teachers? My love for reading? My constant use of spell check? To some extent, these are all factors. Remember those spelling tests we had to take back in elementary school? I hated them with a passion but they helped me. Oddly enough I was positive that “turkey” was spelled “churkey”. It’s the way I heard everyone say it, so I wrote that down on my paper and was upset when it got marked wrong. But I took that lesson and I have never spelled it incorrectly since. The same thing happened with “library”. I called it the “liberry”, and spelled it that way too. The most common problem with incorrect spelling is that students write words the way they hear them, forgetting that people pronounce things differently or incorrectly. Whoever would have thought that “receive” would be spelled that way?
I certainly misspelled it until I learned the little rhyme I’ before E’, except after C’. Or as long A’ like neighbor’ and weigh’. But I am sure that other students didn’t learn this rhyme, as apparent by the incorrect spellings of ie’ words in their papers today. So part of the problem is that students didn’t learn when they were younger, and some of the blame may lay with the teachers. Some classes may have been so large that teachers didn’t realize that certain students had spelling problems. Later, some teachers didn’t care. Test scores that are reported are really all that matter in this day, so teachers found a way for the students to do extra credit or simply marked off minor points for spelling errors and solved that problem. Bad spelling happens the same way that a child graduating from high school being unable to read happens. Teachers aren’t paying attention or don’t care. Reading, or not reading I should say, is also a big part of the problem. In an age filled with other things to do such as watch TV, play computer or video games, or simply participate in sports, reading takes a back seat.
Students who read constantly learn new vocabulary constantly. And as they learn new vocabulary, they use it in everyday speech and in their papers, and learn how to spell it. If students don’t read, and many of them don’t, they won’t know how to spell the words that their classmates may learn. The computer was obviously a big improvement over the typewriter when it came to writing papers. Even better is the spell check. Students should always use the spell check before turning their papers in, as it helps spot errors the students didn’t know were there. However, this causes a problem because most students don’t really look at what the spell check fixes. They simply see that there is an error, and correct it. They don’t look at it and say, “Oh, I didn’t realize it was spelled that way. Next time I’ll remember.” If they did, they would learn from it and their spelling would improve. Instant messaging, text messaging, and emailing are also part of the problem. They are all meant to be quick ways to communicate, and so letters are dropped from words to make them smaller. Students do this so often, and repeat the same thing so often, that eventually they think words are spelled that way. CHAPTER III
The data to be used in this research are the scores of the participants in their spelling test to decide whether the interventions of utilizing technology made such significant effects in their performance on spelling. A test on spelling was used to find out the ability level of the students in this research study. The test has a total number of 30 most misspelled words to be spelled-out. It was also made through dictation of words to be spelled by the students themselves, which tested their abilities and skills in remembering, recognizing and understanding words which is the focus of their study.
Based on the areas of weakness through the use of a spelling test, the interventions showed a great impact on their performance. The spelling test was given by the end of their classes, and just right after they had finished answering the questions on how often they use such technology that they have cited to evaluate their levels on spelling having those interventions. The acquired scores during that certain examination test were also recorded to check their skills on spelling along the process. Students also participated well during our survey.